Weekly Newsletter

10 November 2023

Weekly Newsletter

10 November 2023

Riyadh Air announces IBM as technology partner

Riyadh Air has chosen IBM to build a digital and technological strategy.

Cat Vitale November 08 2023

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s second flag carrier, has announced a technology partnership with IBM to create a technology foundation for the new airline.

Riyadh Air recently conferred with IBM Consulting, IBM’s consulting arm and has already begun working together to build a digital and technology strategy.

The collaboration will oversee a hybrid cloud approach and integrate over 50 airline industry solutions and technological capabilities, such as security, infrastructure, integration and data platforms.

This will include the introduction of AI operations and art digital technology to create a personalised experience.

Riyadh Air chief financial officer Adam Boukadida emphasised how IBM’s expertise will enable the technology transition.

Boukadida said: “Our ambition is to launch our first flight in 2025 and put Riyadh Air at the cutting edge of digital technology and innovation within the aviation industry, adopting the best international sustainability and safety practices to deliver an exceptional travel experience for our guests locally and internationally.

“IBM Consulting will be our principal partner, driving us towards our vision with their deep expertise in managing large complex systems and integration programmes, as well as their expertise in the travel industry.”

IBM Consulting will set up and operate Riyadh Air’s hybrid cloud integration platform, which will be built with IBM CloudPak.

This platform will offer integration tools for connecting apps and data, resulting in a unified and user-friendly experience.

IBM Consulting senior vice-president John Granger added: “We’re proud to be Riyadh Air’s partner and help them bring this new era of the Kingdom’s aviation industry to life.”

“A technology foundation built with an open, hybrid cloud approach can help them achieve the flexibility and agility needed to support their goal of delivering an exceptional travel experience for their guests.”

Riyadh Air, the newly formed airline startup, is set to commence its commercial operations by 2025 and plans to see 100 million visitors a year by 2030.

As previously reported, the airline made its international debut at the Paris Air Show.

Could investment in the the metaverse accelerate the travel industry’s recovery?

Current metaverse applications in the T&T sector either focus on digital marketing campaigns with real-world rewards for consumers, creating immersive experiences on-site for digitally savvy consumers through AR and VR metaverses, or improving operational efficiency through digital twin technology. As the metaverse evolves, it could offer virtual travel opportunities that complement traditional tourism. However, uptake of the metaverse by smaller travel and tourism operators will remain limited until use cases are affordable and provide a guaranteed return on investment.

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